Graduation and Awards Season

From Graduand to Graduate

Staff in Applied Linguistics, from left to right: Dr Cornelia Tschichold, Dr Vivienne Rogers, Prof. Tess Fitzpatrick, Dr Jill Boggs, Dr Federica Barbieri

Graduation is always a special occasion for the students and their families but it is also a truly meaningful event for the staff who’ve watched them blossom: from the beginning of their academic journey to that final moment where they take their leave of us and say their good-byes.

This year was no different and we were thrilled to watch our Applied Linguistics students walk proudly and confidently across the stage, moving from graduand to graduate.

We wish our students every success and encourage them to keep in touch, sharing their stories with us in their capacity as Applied Linguistics and Swansea University alumni.

Of our students, the head of department Prof. Tess Fitzpatrick says:

“We are privileged to get to know our students well through their years of study, and we recognize the immense personal achievement, sometimes against daunting odds, that their graduation represents. Graduation day is an opportunity to pause and celebrate, but there is a palpable sense of energy about the day too. Graduates introduce university friends and lecturers to family and friends from home, connecting the people in the personal networks that will support them through their next adventures, which for this year’s graduates include internships in Tokyo, postgraduate study in Oxford, teaching posts in China amongst other employment destinations.”


Department of Applied Linguistics Student Prizes

Prof. Paul Meara

Last year, Professor Emeritus Paul Meara very generously offered to fund student prizes in the department of Applied Linguistics. Paul was professor of Applied Linguistics at Swansea from 1990 to 2009, teaching undergraduate and PhD level  students and setting up an innovative distance learning PhD programme with a focus on vocabulary research.

Paul has had a lasting and significant impact on the field of Applied Linguistics in general and on vocabulary studies in particular. Together with some of his former students, he continues to develop the discipline. Paul also runs Lognostics, which houses the Vocabulary Acquisition Research Group Archive pages and a number of tools for vocabulary research.

Thanks to this funding, the department of Applied Linguistics offered the following student prizes in 2018-2019:

  • The Prof. Paul Meara final year prize – This is awarded to the best senior Honours student of the year. This year the prize was awarded to Beatrice Massa.
  • The Prof. Paul Meara final dissertation prize -This is awarded to the most outstanding dissertation of the year. This year the prize was awarded to  Molly Rabin for her dissertation on “The impact of the Welsh-English linguistic landscape on monolingual inhibitory control function”
  • The Prof. Paul Meara final Year 2 prize  – This is awarded to the student with the most improved mark from Year 1 to Year 2. This year the prize was awarded to Hei Man Tiffany Ng
  • The Prof. Paul Meara final  Year 1 prize – This is awarded to the best Year 1 student. This year the prize was awarded to Milo Coffey
  • The Prof. Paul Meara final academic community prize – This is awarded for outstanding contribution to the academic community in the Department of Applied Linguistics. This year the prize was awarded jointly to Megan Davies and Maslin Costiniano.

Congratulations to our worthy recipients!

Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award

Dr Alexia Bowler

This year Dr Alexia Bowler received an Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award (ELTA), which is given annually to those members of staff who have made an outstanding contribution to the student learning experience. The nominations are lead by the students, then endorsed by staff members in the College and finally judged by a panel made up of the Director of SALT, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), a previous winner of the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award and a sabbatical officer of the Student Union.

The aims of the award are to recognise the value Swansea University places on quality teaching and support for our students, to encourage a reflective approach to the practice of teaching and to provide students with an opportunity to have input into those teachers who will receive this prestigious award.

Alexia said: ‘I’m truly honoured to have received this award. It means so much to me that students have responded so positively.  It makes me want to work all the harder to retain my students’ respect as someone who is trusted with supporting their educational development and learning journey.’

Back row: Dr Alexia Bowler among the finalists and winners of the Inspire! Tutor Awards (Learning and Work Institute Wales), held at St. Fagan’s Museum of Welsh History, Cardiff

Earlier in the year, Alexia was also shortlisted as a finalist for an ‘Inspire! Adult Tutor Award’. The awards are given by the Learning and Work Institute, Wales. Alexia was nominated as an “outstanding tutor” whose “commitment, knowledge and communication skills have given adults the encouragement to engage with learning and transform their lives.”

Of her shortlisting, Alexia said: “Teaching is my passion. It’s always a rewarding and exciting enterprise due to the commitment and enthusiasm of my students. To find out I’d been shortlisted was a surprise, but I was delighted. It was especially pleasing to be alongside the winners, hearing about their work. To realise you are among a community of dedicated lecturers that care about, and are committed to, equal opportunities for learning is inspiring.”  

Florence Mockeridge Fellowship

Jill enjoying some street food in Korea

Last year, Swansea University’s Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research, Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, launched the Florence Mockeridge Fellowship Group which aims to enable research staff to fulfil their potential. Staff are selected from across the university for membership of this group. This year sees our own Dr Jill Boggs selected for fellowship.

The group aims to give chosen academics the opportunity to grow their research and reach their potential through the mentoring and training needed to be successful in their fellowship applications.

The group is named after Florence Mockeridge, an inspirational figurehead and a formidable and trailblazing academic who was Professor of Botany at Swansea University between 1922 and 1954.

Of the fellowship, Jill said: ‘I’m honoured to have been selected to be a part of the FloMo Fellowship, where we have the opportunity to learn the skill of writing successful funding applications and be mentored by experienced faculty members. The fellowship comprises early career researchers from all over the university. This diversity of experience and interests of the group, along with everyone’s enthusiasm, gives the group a positive, dynamic vibe.’

Hearty Congratulations Jill!

Employability Success

Far Left: Dr Alexia Bowler and Centre: Helen Gray and Catherine Lloyd-Bennet (local health board)

This year also sees us increase our provision for employability opportunities, offering talks from industry partners as diverse as the National Crime Agency, language technology solutions firms, to archivists and EFL practitioners.

We have also developed several successful work placements with local health boards and community schools, working on diverse projects including health communication practices and literacy schemes. 

Our efforts were recognised by the university and Dr Alexia Bowler received an employability award for her outstanding contribution to employability within the department.

Our local heath board partners also received an award for providing students the opportunity to work on several innovative and collaborative projects which have given our students unique opportunities to work in health communication.